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New Cantonese cuisine place on 50th Str and 3rd Ave - Must Try

Radiance Tea House has opened a new location. I loved their fine teas selection at the first location on 55th Str and now really appreciate the fuller menu on 50th Str.

Hong Kong harbor style jumbo shrimps I eat we're cooked in shell over high flame, thus being crispy yet juicy inside. I was a little concern about shrimps not being piled, but It does taste different and in a good way different. Also I liked the fact that it's not breaded. Would definitely recommend to everyone. As to how to eat it: Helping yourself with a knife, sort of pull the shrimp meat with a fork from the middle of the shrimp towards yourself, perpendicularly to the shrimp tail. Sounds complicated but just basically how you'd eat a lobster.

It was a bit spicier that I normally would eat, so when waiter brought iced tea with prunes and some berries to add sweetness, I was grateful. Tea complemented the dish, jut like wine wood.

Definitely recommend to try their ice-teas. They sell it by the pitcher too.

Overall - it's my favorite place right now. Going to shift business lunches there, atmosphere feels right to make decisions, very calm.

Price: delicious meal for two, with dim sum, seafood entrees, mango mousse dessert and iced teas made into $38. I think the price is great. Especially given the food quality and the location.

Aftertaste: Food felt light, yet satisfying, there was no heavy sensations that is common after normally greasy Chinese food.
Their chef must be very talented.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me was how clean the place was. From my experience it's more common for today's Chinese places to appear not carrying about hygiene at all.

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      1. ah interesting, ive been meaning to try this place, but i always thought it was run by koreans for some reason

        btw this type of shrimp you normally just eat the whole thing (i.e. you eat the shell, if its cooked right should crispy and easy to eat)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Lau

          It's interesting you should mention about eating the whole thing! One Asian gentlemen suggested me to do so. But I'm from Europe, and when it comes to changing our notions as to how some particular dish should be consumed we're normally not that out of the box. So I didn't even try to eat the shrimps with the shell. To my excuse the shrimps are really of a jumbo size, over 12 cm (5 inch) long and the shell is thicker then on regular shrimps.

          And yeah, the Korean BBQ is right before Radiance and has a big sign, so from 3rd ave might look like its the same place.

          1. re: victoriafoody

            yah its normally a larger shrimp that is cooked in this style and its usually fried so the shell becomes pretty brittle and crispy and should be very easy to eat, the real advantage of eating it with the shell on (for me at least) is that alot of the flavor from the seasoning is on the outside, so if you peel the shell you end up missing alot of the flavor

            1. re: Lau

              Missing a lot of the flavor is quite convincing point. I might try the shell a little next time.

              1. re: victoriafoody

                yah def give it a try i think alot of people dont realize how brittle shell becomes (assuming they cooked it properly)

        2. I went there and had lunch. Hargau, or prawn dumpling was superb with tender jumbo prawns inside. Similar to the quality I used to encounter in Hong Kong! Beef with Sacha sauce was mild, yet full of flavors (and not greasy at all!).

          Ambiance was clean and stylish. Servers were super friendly and efficient. I will definitely go back soon, may be as early as tomorrow.

          7 Replies
            1. re: kosmose7

              Glad you like it, kosmos7! I only tried seafood, dim sum, and vegetarian dishes there, haven't tried beef yet.

              1. re: victoriafoody

                I had dinner at Radiance as well, and it was very good! I ordered the grand opening special, 4-course dinner for $38, which includes Asian shrimp salad, Hong Kong harbor style lobster or prawn, seafood risotto, and mango or coconut pudding for dessert.

                Asian shrimp salad had five pieces of shrimp and vegetables with Asian ginger dressing. The dressing was not really that flavorful, but the shrimp was really tender.

                Original Hong Kong harbor style lobster is supposed to be buried in a pile of fried chopped garlic and dried red chili peppers (http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/900797...), but their version had only a small amount here and there. Nevertheless, it was really tasty and the lobster bits were so crispy outside and juicy inside. Not greasy at all either!

                Seafood 'risotto' had a generous portion of tender shrimp, squid, mushrooms, and saffron sauce.

                Mango pudding was good quality too, comparable to the one I used to have in Hong Kong.

                Thanks for your great information, victoriafoody!
                I will go back soon to try their ginger and scallion lobster lunch set!

                * More photos:

                1. re: kosmose7

                  Kosmos7, I went on your blog - your picks are like a good story, thanks for sharing!

                  1. re: kosmose7

                    wow sounds good...never really thought i'd see under bridge chili crab style crab here, i love that place


                    1. re: Lau

                      I'm reading your blog Lau. You probably have more posts on Chinese cuisines then on chowhound :) and every post with pics - thank you so much for sharing!

              2. On the list, this sounds great.

                1. I've tried this place twice now. The space is nice. The service was ok. The menu looks great, and as does the food when it arrives. But both times, I was incredibly underwhelmed by how it tastes.

                  Let me start by saying, I love Chinese food. I've had fantastic experiences at numerous Cantonese places in Manhattan and Brooklyn Chinatowns (haven't yet made it to Flushing, but it's on the list - I know I'm missing out).

                  I've always had good to great experiences at East Harbor Seafood Palace, NY Noodletown, as well as non-Cantonese places like Szechuan Gourmet, Lan Shang, Hunan Manor, Xi'an, etc. I really wanted to love this place. On to the food:

                  I was with different types of eaters, so there was certainly some less-than-advisable ordering on our parts, but the fact that everything seemed to be a complete miss was surprising. We tried (over 2 trips)

                  -Crystal shrimp dumplings
                  Good, although nowhere near as good as good as what I've had in the various chinatowns in the city.

                  -Garlic & scallion pork spare ribs
                  Fried ribs covered in deep fried garlic crumbs. The crumbs were delicious, but didn't really stay on, nor flavor, the ribs. I LOVE ribs, and I don't mind grease, but these were incredibly heavy without much flavor to justify it.

                  -Black pepper beef tenderloin
                  This was probably the most underwhelming dish we had. The meat was not high quality at all - honestly no better than what I had as a teenager when ordering beef and broccoli from the corner Chinese place with the backlit pictures of the food. The sauce was overly thick, and overly flavored but not in a good way - almost a cloyingly peppery egg drop soup without the egg, if you can imagine that.

                  -"Golden Crumbs" lobster
                  We wanted to order the ginger scallion lobster, but the waitress STRONGLY recommended we get this instead. It was exactly like the crumbs from the pork ribs. I've had this at Lucky 8 in Brooklyn. I know how good it can be. This was a terribly poor example.

                  -Salt & Pepper calamari
                  More crumbs. The squid was ok, a little tough. Very one note.

                  -General tso's chicken
                  I didn't expect this to be good. It was worse than I expected - tough, cheap dark meat chicken. Crust was soggy, instead of crispy. Again, the sauce was too thick (almost gooey) and, like the beef tenderloin sauce, overly seasoned but not in a way that's appealing. All you can taste when you eat this is sauce and rubbery chicken.

                  -stir fried seasonal vegetables
                  Very disappointing. The vegetables were mostly broccoli, white mushrooms and carrots. Maybe 4 wood ear mushrooms and 3 pieces of bok choy. And the sauce had the exact same problem as the other sauces.

                  I don't love writing awfully negative things about restaurants, which is why I gave this place a second try even after a terrible first experience, but hopefully I can help deter at least one person from wasting a meal here.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: lexismore

                    hmm thats too bad...i still need to try this place

                    1. re: Lau

                      I certainly respect your opinions on the NYC Chinese food scene - I'd be curious to know what you think.

                      I genuinely hope your experience is better than mine were.

                      1. re: lexismore


                        yah ill give it a try and let u know what i think

                        btw that preparation you are talking about is amazing if u do it right...this place in HK is so god

                        1. re: Lau

                          The "golden crumbs" themselves were great, but it seemed like they just deep fried different proteins and then sprinkled some crumbs on top. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be?

                          That crab photo looks great, it's on my list of things to try (which always seems to get longer rather than shorter).

                          1. re: lexismore

                            normally its deep fried garlic, but its you can eat it straight off its garlicky but not crazy garlicky so you can just eat it with rice or congee...so good, if you're ever in HK you def need to try

                    2. re: lexismore

                      Sorry to hear about your food expirience!
                      The taste you describe though doesn't sound like prepared by their executive chef, I' ve eaten there about 20 times or so and every time it's moist, perfect texture, very flavorful. I love their black paper beef - so tender, like braised for several hours kind of tender and almost melting in the mouth.

                      A friend of mine, who is food critic (from Hong Kong, resides in NYC) told me that this is the best place for authentic Cantonese taste in Mid Manhatten. She said even their desert, like wood ear mushroom & Chinese pear sweet soup is something her grandma wood cook. I haven't yet mentally prepped myself to try that yet though.

                      Plus variety of teas is increadable, you haven't mentioned tea, so you probably didn't have one. They pair it so well with dishes you order. I love their milky ginger black tea.

                      To be honest I feel like we're talking about different places, I don't believe I ever saw general Tso on their menu ( another friend of mine jocked that this is the only dish he knows and that this is the one not on the menu, but that was a while ago, so maybe something has changed).

                      I'm not in the city often these past two month, hope it's just some sort of mistake and Radiance stays the same :) it would be bad to loose such a nice dinning in the neighborhood. I loved the atmosphere there just as much as the food, so peaceful kind of, relaxed.

                      1. re: victoriafoody

                        Both times I went were at lunch, so maybe that has something to do with it?

                        I work a few blocks away, so I really do want it to be great.

                        Maybe I've just been very unlucky.

                        1. re: lexismore

                          ahh good to note, i will try for dinner then when i do

                        2. re: victoriafoody

                          I am sorry to hear that lexismore's meal there was disappointing. I wonder what could have gone wrong. I've been there four times so far (once for dinner and three times for lunch), and first two times were great, last two times were good enough.

                          As for the Hong Kong style prawns/ lobster with "golden crumbs", I have given up to find good one in New York. They are not even remotely close to what I used to have in Hong Kong, at such places as Under Bridge Spicy Crab (http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/900797...) that Lau mentioned, or Hee Kee (http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/900336...). I am having the original one next week in Hong Kong! Yay!

                          1. re: kosmose7

                            which one do u like better? i like under bridge better than hee kee

                            1. re: Lau

                              Me too.
                              Hee Kee has become more like a tourist place now.

                              1. re: kosmose7

                                well both def have tourists, but hee kee is def quite touristy

                                man i could use some of that now, btw since you're going ive got some other dish recs for you:
                                - mantis shrimp: if you have enough people def try the version with mantis shrimp, really nice
                                - spicy clams: most people know to get these, but just in case
                                - steamed scallops with vermicelli and garlic: i was shocked at how good these were last time
                                - hong shao fish head clay pot: i think this was a special, but quite good

                                1. re: Lau

                                  Thanks Lau.
                                  I lived in Hong Kong for ten years before, so those were definitely my favorite dishes.

                                  Its' Shanghai hairy crab season now and I will devour them too! I missed them so much because I couldn't find them here in New York! :)

                                  Another one I am looking forward to is Michelin three starred Sushi Yoshitake's Hong Kong branch, which also received two stars last year.

                                  And Ryugin Hong Kong....

                                  Also Pierre Herme... and those upscale hotel buffets as well as great pastry + chocolate buffets that New York doesn't have!!!

                                  I heard Caprice has a new chef now too.

                                  1. re: kosmose7

                                    i cant believe how much yoshitake is charging in HK, when i ate there in tokyo in december got out for 315 per person or something like that...its ilke 600 per person in HK!!

                                    btw side note on hairy crab, the hairy crab roe xiao long bao at fu sing are awesome! a different way to eat it! def get the cha siu too and the gold coin chicken is nice as well

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      Yeah~! Shanghai crab roe soup dumpling is quite awesome! Although it looks just like any other soup dumpling, inside are a whole new ingredients! I used to enjoy them at Crystal Jade Palace in Korea when in season too!

                                      Another delicacy is steamed rice covered with prawns and Shanghai crab roe + Shanghai crab 'miso'.

                                      As for Sushi Yoshitake Hong Kong, they used to offer three different courses but starting from October, they only offer a HK$3,500 course, which is approx. $500 after 10% tip. They have also changed the name to Sushi Shikon.

                                      1. re: kosmose7

                                        yah ive only had them at fu sing, but the filling was the best filling ive ever had in an XLB, the skins were nice too not quite as good as DTF but still surprisingly good

                                        ahh that shrimp dish looks nice where is it?

                                        i mean its nice thats a "deal" but it is extreme that its so much more expensive than tokyo (it was very good btw)

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          Alright, stop it, you two! Yer killing me!

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              haha ok we stopped, but i cant promise we wont start again

                      2. I had lunch from Radiance noodle house which is in the basement pavilion of the same building. This is takeout only.

                        I ordered hoisin pork cold noodle, assorted buns(2 pork belly, 1 beef and 1 chicken) and 5 shrimp dumplings.

                        They were all decent but I still love my food from Land of plenty but if you want something quick, it might be a good option.